Multiple Sclerosis Treatment Options: Breakdown of Associated Risks

Scientists from the University of Rostock in Germany explored the range of multiple sclerosis treatment options and examined them for possible infectious outcomes, side effects, and potential fatalities.

Scientists from the University of Rostock Department of Neurology in Germany reviewed existing multiple sclerosis (MS) treatment drugs in a study published in Clinical & Experimental Immunology. The investigators’ conclusions revealed:

  • Relapse treatment, such as glucocorticosteroids (GCSs) and plasmapheresis, mandates awareness and individual management of potential infectious risks.
  • If used in the appropriate manner, established disease-modifying drugs (DMDs) are safe with regards to infectious complications.
  • Oral therapies for MS may cause infectious problems because of their active substances; i.e., vaccination status should be reviewed before initiating treatment.
  • Higher risks of infection are associated with the use of immunosuppressive drugs. The authors recommend curing relevant infections prior to initiating treatment and follow-up monitoring during treatment.
  • Mandatory surveillance and thorough monitoring are required when beginning treatment with monoclonal antibodies (mAb) to avoid series infections and fatal outcomes.

“With an increasing number of modern compounds, more potent MS treatment options are available,” the authors wrote.“However, increased efficacy seems to accompany a new and more specific spectrum of side effects, including infectious aspects.” The authors note that this is maybe because of the specific mechanisms of action, but also could be due to closer monitoring of these side effects.